(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Brazilian Rafael Silva snatched the winner as Japan's Urawa Reds shocked star-studded Shanghai SIPG 1-0 at home on Wednesday to reach the Asian Champions League final.
The Reds advance to face Saudi giants Al Hilal in next month's two-leg championship clash after holding on for a 2-1 aggregate win that ended Japan's miserable recent run in Asia's premier club competition.
Silva pounced after just 11 minutes in Saitama when he met a Yosuke Kashiwagi corner to power a header past Shanghai goalkeeper Yan Junling for what proved to be the only goal of a fractious encounter.
Japanese clubs have struggled to make an impact in the competition since Urawa's victory in 2007 and Gamba Osaka's triumph a year later.
Although Shanghai largely dominated possession, with Brazil internationals Oscar and Hulk threatening in spells, the visitors lacked end product, allowing Urawa to complete a relatively untroubled victory.
Hulk, who tops the Champions League scoring charts with nine goals, brought a smart save from Reds keeper Shusaku Nishikawa with a dipping free kick after 24 minutes.
But the Reds could have added further goals in the second half as a Tomoaki Makino header clipped the bar and Shinzo Koroki saw a close-range effort brilliantly tipped over by Yan.
Another Hulk rocket 12 minutes from time forced a decent block from Nishikawa, who then reacted quickly to smother Elkeson's follow-up.
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